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Matthew 20:29-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Two Blind Men Pitied and Healed

Matthew 20:29-34 – Two Blind Men Pitied and Healed

|| Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43

MT20:29 And as they traveled on their way from Jericho[1] a large crowd followed them. MT20:30 And, look! two blind men[2] were sitting beside the road and having heard that Jesus was passing by they cried out, saying, “Sir, have mercy on us, Son of David!” MT20:31 When the crowd rebuked the blind men to keep quiet they cried out even more, yelling, “Sir, have mercy on us, Son of David!” MT20:32 Now stopping before them, Jesus raised his voice to them and said, “What do you wish me to do?” MT20:33 The blind men said to Jesus, “Sir, open our eyes that we might see!” MT20:34 Moved with great compassion,[3] Jesus touched their eyeballs and instantly they could see again and they followed[4] after him.

*

[1] On their way from Jericho: Mark 10:46 has this, “And they came into Jer’i·cho.” This would be a simple typo or editing problem easy to correct unless there was a truth behind the two different versions. Jericho was a dual city so one may exit one part and enter the next without a contradiction.

[2] Two blind men: Mark 10:46 reports only one, “Bartimae’us (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar.” The fact that Mark provides the name may indicate a later association in early Christianity. Mark focuses on the one known individual and for his own reasons ignoring the other. Luke 18:35 only says, “a certain blind man.”

[3] Great compassion: Or, RSV: pity; NEB: deeply moved.

[4] They followed: This may mean they went along with the crowd, or that they became his followers. The fact Mark names one of them may indicate he became a disciple.

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Preceding

Matthew 20:1-7 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Vineyard Workers

Matthew 20:8-16 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Last, First; First, Last

Matthew 20:17-19 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Onward to Jerusalem!

Matthew 20:20-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Selfish Request Rejected

Matthew 20:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Authority Not the Way – Serve Others

Matthew 9:27-31 – What others are saying about the blind men recognising the son of David

At the beginning of the first century  in Asia people started to hear about a special man, having such incredible gifts he could do wonders. The Nazarene knew he was send by the Only One True God, Who had given him authority to speak in His Name and to act in His Name. Jesus very well knew that he could do nothing without his heavenly Father.

“Jesus gave them this answer:

“I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (Joh 5:19 NIV)

We do find the son of man to be the son of David and the son of God, being humble enough not to boast about his gifts (which he received from the Most Almighty). The Scriptures tell us that the Nazarene master in no way was a self-aggrandizing publicity glutton. At several occasions we even find Jesus requesting the recipients of his healing to keep their miracle discreet.  Now, anyone aiming to become a celebrity would do the opposite.

In the story for today we find two blind beggars who had heard that Jesus was going to pass. They waited for him in the hope the Nazarene miracle worker would heal them. However, Jesus walked right past, no sign giving to stop for healing them. The two blind beggars were so disillusioned that Matthew 9:27 tells us,

“As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out,

“Have mercy on us, Son of David!”” (Mt 9:27 NIV)

File:JesusHealsTwo.gif

Jesus heals two blind men by Julius Schnorr, 19th century

In Matthew 7:8 we already got to know that those who ask shall receive and those who seek shall find. Here the blind man called Jesus “Son of David” in recognition of his Messianic position. Matthew notated it as a sign we may not overlook, having with this Nazarene master teacher the seed of David and the Word of God having come into the flesh (God’s promise in the garden of Eden).

The blind man calling for Jesus gave Jesus his proper title.

in his bible translation gives it this way:

Matthew 9:27-31
27 As Jesus moved on from there, two blind people followed him shouting,

“Have mercy on us, son of David.”

28 After entering the house, Jesus approached the blind people and said to them,

“Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

“Yes, Lord”

they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes saying,

“According to your faith, let it be to you.

  30 Their eyes were opened. Jesus strictly ordered them,

“Make sure no one knows!”

31 But when they went out, they spread news of him across that whole land.

in his posting of September 11, 2017 explains

They’re blind, but they see Jesus’ significance. He is Son of David (9:27). God had promised that a son of David would reign over God’s people in every generation (2 Samuel 7:16), though that had ceased to be 600 years before Jesus’ time. People yearned for the Son of David to restore the kingdom to Israel (Psalm 89:49; Isaiah 9:7; Ezekiel 37:24). These two blind people “see” what Jesus is doing, and publicly proclaim him as Israel’s long-awaited king.

For Matthew, this title has enormous significance. He opened his Gospel by pointing us to Jesus as the Messiah, the son of David (1:1). It’s a title he includes ten times (1:1, 20; 9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 20:30, 31; 21:9, 15; 22:42). Why is it so significant? Because the arrival of the king portends the restoration of the kingdom.

In the Old Testament several warnings are given to recognise the promised one from God. By now people had to be able to come to see who it would be or who was able to be that promised Ma·shiʹach (Messiah), in Greek the  Khri·stosʹ, meaning “Anointed One”, who was also recognised as such by Simon Peter (Mt 16:16). The Nazarene master teacher being the Heir of the Kingdom covenant that was to be fulfilled by someone in David’s lineage. Matthew also traces Joseph’s ancestry and shows that Jesus as Joseph’s adopted son was the legal heir to David’s kingship.

In the past was also written that the blind would come to see, indicating the literal and the spiritual blind people.

“4 say to those with fearful hearts,

“Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

5  Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” (Isa 35:4-6 NIV)

“In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.” (Isa 29:18 NIV)

“6 Having said this, he spat on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.” (Joh 9:6-7 NIV)

“The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy {The Greek word was used for various diseases affecting the skin—not necessarily leprosy. } are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.” (Mt 11:5 NIV)

It would take some time before the apostles would be sure who Jesus is

“Simon Peter answered,

“You are the Christ, {Or Messiah; also in verse 20 } the Son of the living God.”” (Mt 16:16 NIV)

They looked forward to a ruler in their time to get rid of the Romans. For them it was still the worldly Kingdom having the Jews liberated from their oppressors.

looks also to what others are saying:

Michael J. Wilkins writes about the expression “son of David”, Matthew, NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), 372–373:

This expression [Son of David] refers to the promise of the messianic deliverer from the line of David whose kingdom will have no end (2 Sam. 7:12–16; cf. Pss. Sol. 17:23). The messianic age promised to bring healing to the blind (Isa. 29:18; 35:5; 42:7) … These men have profoundly connected Jesus with the prophecies of the Son of David who will heal blindness (cf. 12:22–23; 21:14–15), and they ask for that gift of messianic mercy.

Examples of the recent development of “personal saviour” language:

D. L. Moody, Life Words from Gospel Addresses of D. L. Moody, ed. G. F. G. Royle (London: John Snow & Co., 1875), 69 (emphasis original):

We must have Christ in our hearts as a personal Saviour, not only delivering us from the pit of hell, but saving us from our sins.

C. H. Spurgeon, “The Free-Agency of Christ,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 48 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1902), 22:

Seek for personal faith in a personal Saviour. You were born alone; you will have to pass through the gates of death alone.

R. A. Torrey, How to Work for Christ a Compendium of Effective Methods. (Chicago; New York: James Nisbet & Company, 1901), 136–137:

If one is skeptical on this point [hell], though a Christian (in that he has accepted Christ as a personal Saviour) it is well to show him the teaching of God’s Word.

ends with saying

Some even equate Evangelicalism with “personal saviour” language e.g. George A. Rawlyk, Is Jesus Your Personal Saviour? In Search of Canadian Evangelicalism in the 1990s. (Montréal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1996).

When such special thing (a miracle) happened to them they could not stay quiet.

They couldn’t contain their excitement due to being healed. May we always share the Gospel with fervor and passion. {Faith for Healing}

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Preceding

Matthew 9:18-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: On the Way to Raise a Ruler’s Daughter a Woman is Cured

Matthew 9:18-26 – What others say about Jesus knowing how to care for people

Matthew 9:27-31 – Blind Men Healed

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Related articles

  1. Personal Saviour or Son of David? (Matthew 9:27-31)
  2. Bonus Post: The Passion Narrative
  3. Matthew 9:24
  4. Faith for Healing
  5. What Am I Grateful for Today? – Sight
  6. Being Led by the Holy Spirit
  7. Believe and Receive
  8. Jesus’ Subtle Kingdom

Matthew 9:27-31 – Blind Men Healed

Matthew 9:27-31 – Blind Men Healed

MT9:27 Traveling from there two blind men followed Jesus, crying out,

“Have mercy on us, Son of David!”[1]

MT9:28 After entering the house the blind men approached Jesus who said to them,

“Do you believe I am able to do this?”

They said,

“Yes, Master!”

MT9:29 Then Jesus touched their eyes, saying,

“Let it happen according to your own faith.”

MT9:30 And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly charged them,

“See to it that nobody learns of this.”[2]

MT9:31 But when these left they made it public throughout that whole area.

*

[1] Son of David: A recognition that Jesus is the Messiah. The designation occurs at Matthew 12:23; 15:22; 20:30, 31; 21:9, 15; Mark 10:47, 48; Luke 18:38, 39.

[2] See to it that nobody learns of this: This must be subtle reverse psychology, for no matter the warnings of the Nazarene it has the opposite affect.

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Preceding

Matthew 9:18-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: On the Way to Raise a Ruler’s Daughter a Woman is Cured

Matthew 9:18-26 – What others say about Jesus knowing how to care for people

+++

Related articles

  1. Believe and Receive
  2. “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel”
  3. 37. Miracle Worker (1)
  4. Being Led by the Holy Spirit
  5. Unveiling Our Heritage…
  6. A Blind Man in Bethsaida is Healed
  7. Jesus the Healer
  8. Healed to be holy

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